Tops Markets files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy

Tops has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

And company officials believe that stores – including the three in Warren County – will continue to function during the company’s reorganization.

“We are continuing to provide customers the convenience, savings, and friendly service they expect from us,” Tops CEO Frank Curci’s said in a statement on Thursday.

Calls to the company’s media relations line were not returned but a press release states that Tops “is pursuing a financial restructuring in order to eliminate a substantial portion of debt from the company’s balance sheet.”

The release goes on to state that “the company fully expects operations to continue as normal throughout this financial restructuring process.”

According to an article published Thursday in The Buffalo News, Curci’s plan to bring Tops out of bankruptcy is to swap out $724 million in debt for equity in the company, giving the investors who hold the supermarket’s debt ownership.

Once that is done, according to the article, the chain expects to be saving around $60 million a year, at which point the plan is to reinvest in store upgrades, increase staff at its 169 locations, and advertise more aggressively.

Competition from big box stores and have challenged supermarkets in recent years.